Category Archives: long distance moving

A photograph of an adorable puppy in a cardboard box.

Avoid These Moving Mistakes

Moving can be overwhelming and a full-time chore, especially if you are in charge of the cleaning, downsizing, packing, and labeling of all the items that need to find a new home. As a guideline, we recommend starting as early as possible in the process and getting as much help as possible from family and friends. Even with ample time and help, there are some common mistakes that homeowners make that can delay the move, or at least make it highly anxiety-ridden. Here are a few errors we have seen over the years to be aware of in the hope that you can avoid making these moving mistakes yourself. 

Not Downsizing Enough 

A move is a great time to weed out all those items that are not needed or possibly duplicated in your home. Thin out your clothing, books, toys, kitchenware, office supplies, and seasonal storage items. The more downsizing you do, the easier the entire process will be. Donate, recycle, or trash the items that are broken, gently used, or not needed anymore. This not only can save you from extra boxes to pack, but also extra junk to unpack in the new home. It may also shave some time off the moving process. 

label boxesNot Labelling Boxes 

It may seem like a simple task of labelling what is in each box that you pack, but so many homeowners skip this step. In addition to putting a tag on each box stating which room it should be delivered to, we suggest adding a short inventory list such as: dishes, utensils, or bowls, to remind you what is in each box upon arrival. This will save you some serious time and hassle when you are looking for something you need. 


You may be thinking, “I can’t pack this yet, because we may still need it.” Our advice – pack it! You can always leave the box open in case you need to access items, but start getting all those keepsakes stashed away. It takes much longer to put your items in boxes and label them than you would imagine. We suggest setting a schedule of what rooms will be completely packed and by when. Do a little each day by starting early and assigning family members to each room and area of your home. 

organize receipts Not Organizing Receipts and Contacts 

When it comes down to it, moving is a crash course in organization. Keep all of your receipts in a folder or binder along with contacts that you will need to transfer utilities, school records, and medical data. Not organizing can mean countless hours searching for the estimates you have obtained for moving companies, contacts for cancelling cable, and other odds-and-ends. 

Avoid these four moving mistakes by starting early, enlisting the help of friends, and staying organized. Check out our blog for the ultimate moving guide and other helpful articles to keep your move on track and on time. Questions and comments contact Mastodon Moving. We are happy to help.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist


Is this the year you plan on selling your home, moving to a dream home, or maybe downsizing? If so, then moving is in your future. What makes the difference between a stressful move and one that is painless? From years of experience successfully moving families all over our region and country, we know that the answer is organization, planning, and some serious decluttering. 

truck parked on a streetThere are absolutely components of moving that can be nerve-racking, but we are here to break down the steps so your move will be as manageable and uncomplicated as possible. 

Months in Advance

If you know that a move is imminent then you should start planning as early as possible. Create a moving binder or folder to keep all receipts, notes, contacts, and a calendar organized for easy reference. With all the information at your fingertips, you will never have to search for a phone number or confirmation slip again. 

Book Movers 

One important component of this binder should be information about moving companies to help expedite your move. We suggest booking our team in advance to ensure that the date you need movers is reserved along with other services you may need such as high value item packing, storage, or help with decluttering. We can help you achieve a successful move across town or across the country. 

Research Schools 

If you have children, getting them acclimated to the new town or school should be a top priority. Look into what school options are available and start prepping your child(ren) for the transition. This may include a visit and tour before the move happens. 

Start Decluttering 

Once you have decided to move, you will suddenly become acutely aware of how much “stuff” you have. Start decluttering by organizing items into piles of: keep, trash, or donate. Decluttering can mean many fewer moving boxes and precious time allotted for the move. 


In the Weeks Before the Move

The closer you get to moving day, the faster things can come at you. Here is a list of tasks you may want to check off.

  • Buy moving supplies including boxes, tape, markers, bubble wrap, and paper. 
  • Notify your employer, doctors office, credit cards, banks, utilities, schools, dentist, and insurance agent of your address change. 
  • Call and arrange a cut off date for your cable or television provider. You may want to also set up an installation date and time at your new location. 
  • Arrange for all necessary paperwork at the post office to forward first class mail. 
  • Change shipping address on all online shopping favorites. 
  • Make arrangements for your pets on the day of the move or potentially the weeks leading up to and after the move. A move can cause anxiety in many pets who don’t understand what is going on. Consult your vet for more details on how to make the move less stressful for your pet. 


If you are unable to do all the packing yourself, a job which can be enormous depending on the size and scope of your move, consider using packing and unpacking services. Our clients especially like this service because it gives them a chance to take the lead in what will be packed, stored, and moved while the crew takes care of the actual work of packing. 


Use labels or color coordinate your packing boxes so movers know precisely which room to deliver them in your new place. Inventory lists can be taped to each box as well as kept on a master list in your binder so you know what is in each box. 

We also suggest taking pictures of your appliances, technology, and electronics before you unplug them and pack them up. You would be amazed at how much an image can help when it comes time to plug in all the items again. 

In addition to labelling boxes, we suggest putting all screws and hardware for furniture such as beds or desks that need to be taken apart for the move, in separate baggies. It makes reassembly much easier with each item’s hardware in individually marked baggies. 

Consider Storage 

Depending on the type of move you are undertaking, you may find that having short term storage could be a great solution. Our clients like this option because it gives them a chance to remove already packed items to a secure location while they pack each room methodically. Many times, high value items can be carefully packed in advance so to avoid any commotion in the packing process. 

A photograph of a post-it note reading, "Don't Forget!"A Day or Two in Advance 

Right before you move, make sure you pack a bag of your high priority items such as a “lovey” for a child, prescription medicines, a change of clothes, personal hygiene items, and, of course, your binder with all the contacts a paperwork you will need for the big day. 

Don’t forget to confirm the appointment with the movers, as well as, friends and family that may be taking on chores for the moving day. Whether it is walking the dog, caring for the kids, or keeping everyone on the same page with communication. 

Remember to keep cash handy for those coffees, donuts, bagels, or sandwiches you will want to offer friends and family who are helping you out on moving day.

For more ideas to make your move go smoothly, check out our Facebook page and blog online

How to Organize Your Move

Does the mere thought of getting ready for a move give you hives? It doesn’t have to. With the right technology, organizational techniques, and a positive attitude, a move, whether it is across town or across the country, does not need to be excruciatingly painful. Here are a few of our tips on how to organize your move, since we have been doing this for many years and have seen it all! 

Juggling all the components to a move can seem daunting. We get it. But we suggest taking a day or two to get organized before you even buy a packing box, or think about hiring a moving company. 


Get Organized 

Start a moving binder. This could be in the form of a file on your computer or a physical binder that can hold all of your important paperwork and receipts. Things that you will want to start keeping track of include: a schedule to transfer utilities and contact numbers for your cable, electric, water, sewer, gas, and so on. You will also want to gather school information if you have children switching districts. In addition, you will want to keep track of a moving checklist, phone numbers, and references for moving companies, a packing list, information for a new state driver’s license, a new dog license, and a list of things to do. (Whew, don’t get overwhelmed!) 

Keep the binder nearby so when an idea or a task comes to mind you can easily access the moving information instead of having all the pieces floating around in your head. 

Utilize Technology 

At a time when you need to organize so many facets of your life, harnessing the power of technology will really make a difference. If you are house-hunting, keep Zillow on your phone to be alerted to new homes in the area where you hope to settle. 

When it comes time to sell or donate some of the items from your home that will not be making the move, consider Facebook Marketplace or LetGo – they’re also great for finding items for your new house! 

Avoid the stress of packing and knowing what is in each box with the Sortly app. With Sortly, you can categorize items by room and keep track of it all with a moving checklist. You can even create labels to place on boxes that can be scanned with the app. Organization is key to a successful move, and Sortly makes staying organized a piece of cake.


Color Code and Inventory 

Nothing is worse than getting to your new home and not know where everything is! In what box did you pack the toilet paper? Where is your child’s special blanket? Where are the cleaning supplies? We suggest getting really organized and not only labeling each box but also color-coding them so a misplaced box can be spotted easily. Create a key with colored tape that signifies blue for one room, red for another, and so on. If you want to be super organized keep a short inventory list or description on each box so when you arrive at your new location, finding what you need will be much less stressful. That Sortly app can help here as well. 

Sort, Purge, and Downsize 

When you have finally started the process of packing, you will probably find that you have “too much stuff.” This is a fairly common problem, especially if you have been in a house for a while. We suggest that you sort your items into like piles such as books, keepsakes, pictures, picture frames, or categories specific to your home’s belongings. Once the items have been sorted, you may find that you want to purge or downsize some of your collections. Perhaps you found that your wardrobe could be whittled down, or that you want to donate some of the books you have already read a few times. Moving is a great time to sort your items into a recycle, trash, or sell pile. Doing so can actually cut back on the amount of stuff you need to move and unpack later. 

Our final tip on getting and staying organized is to enlist friends, relatives, and anyone who is willing to help you get it all done. Remember that “many hands make light work.” If you need a professional mover to help you along the way, whether it is for storage, packing/unpacking and, of course, moving, then call Mastodon Moving at 774-421-9004 or contact us through our website